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by Neville Kennard, veteran preaching and practising capitalist

Would you rather live in a democratic regime that taxed 50% of the Gross National Product (that is, took half of what people earned) while giving the semblance of freedom under the guise of “democracy,” or would you rather an authoritarian non-democratic regime where only 20% (or less) of your earnings and spending was taken? Or even where none of your income or property was appropriated by the regime?

Would you rather live where you had a substantial amount of personal economic clout, but not much political clout; or one where you had a struggle for economic clout and freedom, but where you could vote on things political?

Hong Kong, the Special Economic Region of China, is an example of authoritarian economic freedom, while the welfare states of Europe are examples of political freedom.

Hong Kong thrives while Old Europe struggles. Hong Kong ranks #1 on the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index.

China allows Hong Kong to continue, more or less, with the British Colonial dictum of positive non-interventionism in its economy. And while there is a degree of political representation in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, it remains politically authoritarian and determinedly capitalist: you could perhaps call Hong Kong financially democratic, but politically authoritarian.

Another place of authoritarian freedom is Singapore. Low taxes, property rights, free trade, ever-growing prosperity, but some restraints on political and personal freedom (chewing gum, for example, is banned in Singapore). Now would you rather live and work and keep most of your earnings in Singapore, and go without chewing gum and some constraints in regard to criticising the regime, or be free to chew and spit while paying half your earnings and spending in taxes in a European Union country? Singapore ranks #2 in the World Economic Freedom Index.

Democracy worship is the religion of the times. There are wars and invasions to make the world safe for democracy, mostly some sort of imposed democracy. For the repressed parts of the world, “democracy” seems like a dream, and in many ways such a political and economic state will be a huge leap forward. People, with a fair degree of property rights, with a good degree of self-ownership, will start being responsible for much of their lives — something denied in many countries with repressive regimes and dictators who want to keep most of the money and most of the power to themselves and their cronies.

There is room for many different types of political and economic models. Those that give the most economic freedom tend to prosper; people migrate and work and live in such places, taking their skills and their capital to where it is respected. More such places are needed in the world to compete for talent and capital. Some of these may be classified as authoritarian in a political sense, but libertarian, capitalist and free-market in an economic sense. The more competition there is between regimes, the more trustworthy and honest the rest will have to become.

We need more free trade zones, more tax havens, more Hong Kongs, Singapores, Dubais, Monacos, Lichtensteins. What we need more of is different models offering what people want, competing in a free-market for capital and talent. This will start to freeze out the Social Democracies and Welfare States, until they have little alternative to reform. And if some of those new capital and tax and enterprise havens are somewhat authoritarian, well so be it. People can choose to go there or not. The market will sort it out. And the politicians of the so-called social democracies will hate it.

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Welcome from Neville Kennard
  2. Think Tanks Don't Work
  3. "Market Failure": Just what the government ordered!
  4. The Tragedy of the Tax Pool Commons
  5. Corporate Welfare
  6. Citizenship for Sale?
  7. I Don't Vote
  8. Voting: Right or Privilege?
  9. Stockholm Syndrome and our Love-Hate Relationship with Government
  10. Civil Disobedience: The Rules of Engagement
  11. Should Respect for Law Extend to Bad Laws?
  12. Jaywalking as a Demonstration of Individuality
  13. Government Likes War
  14. Collusion is Our Right
  15. Why Not the Drug Olympics?
  16. Unconventional Wisdom
  17. Tiger Farming: An Alternative to Extinction
  18. Looking Backwards: Mont Pelerin Society Conference, Sydney, 2010
  19. Tax Avoidance is a Patriotic Duty
  20. Kennard Writes to IPA Review Editor
  21. Genocide by Welfare: A Tragedy from the Aboriginal Welfare Industry
  22. Separating Sport and State
  23. Your Home is Not an Investment
  24. Dick Smith, Celebrity Philanthropist
  25. A Libertarian's New Year's Resolution
  26. Extend Politicians' Holidays to Create Prosperity
  27. Entrepreneurs are Disruptive, and Bureaucrats Hate It
  28. What is a good Australian?
  29. Governments Like Employment But Hate Employers
  30. The Market Failure Industry
  31. Neville Kennard: The Tax Avoidance Imperative
  32. Wot if ...?
  33. The Tribal Chief and the Witch Doctor
  34. The Tannehills
  35. Democracy versus Property Rights and Prosperity
  36. Government Doesn't Work, and That's the Way They Like It
  37. Minarchy vs Anarchy
  38. Euthanasia and Self-Ownership
  39. The Right Policies to Fix a Depression
  40. Is Howard Our Best PM?
  41. Tax Producers vs Tax Consumers
  42. Where There's a Queue, There's a Business Opportunity
  43. Authoritarian Freedom
  44. Why Classical Liberals Should Debate Anarchocapitalists
  45. The Tyranny of the Majority
  46. If you could choose to whom you paid your tax
  47. Business Should Exploit Boat People
  48. The Immorality of Trade Unions
  49. "America" vs "The United States"
  50. Sweet Anarchy
  51. The Illusion of "Job Creation"
  52. Gold Is Money
  53. Guilty Capitalists
  54. Bureauphobia
  55. Prosperity vs Growth
  56. Capitalism vs Democracy
  57. More people = More fun
  58. Self-Ownership - the very idea!
  59. Government will murder Neville Kennard if he doesn't back away
  60. The Australian Dollar Has Been Cowardly and Criminally Devalued, Harming the Poor Particularly
  61. Is Taxation Theft and Government a Tax Cheat?
  62. My Journey to Anarchy:
    From political and economic agnostic to anarchocapitalist
  63. Government Needs Bad Guys –
    that's why they like wars
  64. What Is Obscene?
  65. Traffic Economics
  66. Wayne Swan stands on the shoulders of other intellectual pygmies
  67. Neville Kennard Obituary
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